Day 60 – 14th February 2012

I wrote a post on day 40 which mentioned that if anyone would have said to us before we left the UK that we would still be at the clinic after 40 days, then I wouldn’t have believed them…well here we are at day 60!  Sixty is the sum of a pair of twin primes (29 + 31), as well as signifying a diamond wedding anniversary, is the international dialling code for Malaysia and believe it or not, the highest obtainable level on World of Warcraft (apparently).  As well as being day 60, it was Valentine’s day and also the day everything changed and Jenny took back control of this disease.

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog we made the decision to revert back to the IV base dose of morphine and stop the oral medication last night – what a difference that decision has made.  Fast forward 24 hours and whilst it is early days, Jenny is starting to be herself again.  She slept well last night with minimal pain and distress, meaning I got a half decent nights sleep as well.  So how did she fare today…

This morning she managed to get up and wash with a little help and started to drink quite a few energy drinks – it is as if she is a different person physically and also mentally, as the morphine level she is now at is a constant and therefore doesn’t seem to invoke confusion in the same way.  I’ve seen a gradual downward trend in Jenny’s health over the last 4-5 days (a little bit each day) and it’s only when she comes out the other side so quickly that you realise how difficult and what a low ebb she must have been at.  We spoke today and she told me she had started to “taste” the morphine which must be an indication of the size of the dose she was having as well as starting to think she wasn’t going to come out the other side of this – in other words she thought at some points she may die.  We’ve had some difficult times like this over the last 4 years and I wasn’t quite as concerned this time, as I have been in the past, as all her vital signs were within acceptable boundaries, but I was wondering how much more she could take mentally, due to the constant pain.

I’m sure sometimes our blog doesn’t convey the lowest or most difficult times with a tone  that represents the severity of some of the situations we have been in over the last 8 weeks.  I suppose that’s part-design, part-reflective as I tend to write about things after the event and once things have calmed down.  This last week has been hard and I know Jenny was close to breaking point on a few occasions.  I’ve always been more concerned with Jenny’s mental and emotional state of mind during this treatment, than I have of her physical condition as I’m a believer that once your mind cracks, it’s very difficult to reign it back in.  However, whilst she didn’t crack (but was close) she has managed once again to pull the situation around and put herself firmly back in the driving seat.

Within 15 minutes of the syringe driver being restarted last night, she was asleep and relaxed.  Over the last week she has been exhibiting increasingly frequent noises during periods of sleep which I can only assume are pain related.  Assuming this is right then I can use it as an indicator as to the level of pain she is experiencing at any one time when asleep, and last night I didn’t hear a peep out of her.

Jenny decided to pass on lunch today and recharge her batteries in order to make it down to dinner this evening.  She had a foot massage with Max mid-afternoon and also requested that physiotherapy commences again tomorrow on her neck and shoulders.  Whilst Jenny had a rest this afternoon, I met with Cathy, Dick & Arthur at a local B&B/Cafe which is well-known for its cakes.  It is called Cafe IRA and on Tuesdays and Sundays it opens its doors to serve afternoon tea, coffee and cake.  It also seems to be where most people around here congregate as it was packed out.  This felt a little strange as for the last 2 months everywhere has seemed quiet and bustle-free.  The cake display is something else and the size of the pieces served are quiet ridiculous – I couldn’t finish mine!

Cafe IRA Cakes  Cafe IRA Cakes 

We all had an enjoyable hour before Cathy & Dick had to return to the clinic for an appointment.  Arthur & I stayed on for another drink and he very kindly paid the bill (probably out of the profit he made from organising the distribution of the bill at the meal on Sunday evening – I jest of course!).  This was a lovely gesture especially when you consider he is a former stockbroker and southerner!  Many thanks Arthur, Jenny and I are going to miss you both once you leave.

As it was Arthur & Hilary’s last night (Hilary has now been here 3 times during our stay!) Jenny wanted to make it downstairs to the dining room for dinner.  yesterday she couldn’t really move out of bed for the pain and today, following the switch back to the syringe driver, she has had no additional IV breakthrough pain relief and made it down for dinner with everyone and ate reasonably well – a serious step forward.  Arthur & Hilary leave to return home to Chichester, UK tomorrow morning.  They will be missed by a lot of people here at the clinic and they are amongst some of the first people we met when we arrived.  Arthur is good fun and always the comedian and Hilary is simply adorable and quintessentially “English”.  Hilary’s treatment cycle means she now has a 3 month break from the clinic and I sincerely hope we have made it home before they return!

Arthur & Hilary Hilary & Jenny

Today was also Valentine’s Day and I managed (with the help of Lisa) to get Jenny another angel to add to the collection, some incense for the room and some hand-made chocolates which she was to have the first one and the remainder were for the rest of the women (and some men) around the clinic, but Lisa doesn’t have dairy / gluten so she could only sniff them – sorry Lisa!  Jenny also got a lovely online message from Cathy & Dick.

Jenny's Valentine's Message Dagmar & Andy

I understand from Arthur that John & Mary made it home to Sydney without too many problems and she is doing fine.  Tomorrow I have my first “skipping lesson” in the afternoon (that should be a hoot) and Monica from Canada returns to the clinic.  It continues to snow on and off here in Bad Salzhausen and the village continues to be quite beautiful.  On my way to Cafe IRA this afternoon I took some photographs which I’ll leave you with…

Snow in Bad Salzhausen Snow in Bad Salzhausen
Snow in Bad Salzhausen Snow in Bad Salzhausen
Snow in Bad Salzhausen Snow in Bad Salzhausen


Categories: KTF | 803 Comments

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803 thoughts on “Day 60 – 14th February 2012

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  34. Aunty Nancy

    You’ve got an angel watching over you Jen who liked a good fight so in the words of uncle Joe “don’t let the bas****s grind you down “.
    Love to both aunty Nancy xxxxxxxxxxxx

  35. Jo

    This blog has just made my day!!!! You continue to amaze and inspire me Jen! Your strength and determination to beat this bas***d disease is overwhelming, keep up the good work my lovely cousin and we will see you, here or there, in 2 weeks!!!
    KTF always

  36. Auntie Gooze

    Superb news, you two. Keep up the fighting spirit and all power to your elbows. Sending you all the good, golden light and love I can muster.


    Autie Gooze

  37. Sarah Nolan

    Such fantastic news today Jen and Andy. You both have valentines day every day with the true love and courage you show for each other. What a true example of love, hope, faith and sheer bravery. The world would be a much better place with people like you. I feel honoured to know such a wonderful couple. Lots of love and prayers for you both and all at the clinic. I believe you will get what you need so KTF xxxx

  38. Diane and Steven

    Hey guys, glad to hear that Jen is keeping up the fighting spirit and is getting back on top of things. We cannot imagine for one minute what you are both going through but follow your progress every day and keep praying that things will work out for you both as you wish and hope for. We will have to try and work out how to skype with you as the kids are always asking after you and would love to speak to you both. You just know how I.T illiterate me and steven are! We will get there though! We are currently in Wychnor having a little break away with the kids which is lovely. They are both water babies and just want to be in the pool all the time!
    We will keep praying for you and wish you home safe soon KTF the original roberts’

  39. Sylvia Kapp

    I’m so thrilled to hear that the driver’s made such a positive difference – that’s wonderful news and I’m hugely impressed at how much better Jenny looks less than 24 hours later – what a woman! It was lovely seeing you both but tough seeing the amount of pain she was dealing with and the worry for you both in these difficult days. I hope that being able to move around, eat more, sleep better etc all add up to really big improvements over the next days. I’m rooting for you both! Lots and lots of love, Sylvia x

  40. Jane

    Kickassing cousin is back!!! Great to read! Cake looks delic Andy , think I could polish the custard tart looking one!! KTF always xxxxxxx lots or love xxxx

  41. Jackie James

    Hi guys, lovely to see you up and about again Jenny, I am liking this blog full of hope cakes and skipping!! love to you both xxx

  42. June

    Wow,our Warrior Princess rises to fight on with spirit and courage…go,go,go. What an unforgettable Valentine Surprise for you Andy…great stuff!
    Times have been very difficult this last week, never underestimate those who love you both very much, I have prayed so much, my prayers have been answered once again….KTF…
    The most important things in this World have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope….you are that “WORLD” Jenny…full of special courage, even when you reach rock bottom….Feel empowered, with the help of the IV pain relief, to gain your amazing strength yet again.
    Courage gives you the strength to move on when things get tough for you, and it is a “BIG”strength you need to stay certainly do that are in control of your disease yet again…brave..brave..brave you are! This vital step forward is wonderful, so looking forward to seeing you both on your arrival home, to pay homage to a special couple…
    Glad to hear Mary and John have arrived home safely,good luck for your treatments back in OZ…
    Andy, carry on eating those cakes….carry on skipping !
    Love you lots ….KTF…June xxxxxx
    So good to know you managed to join everyone at dinner, a great boost for Andrew too

  43. Helen Jo

    Great to read this entry, you’re looking so much better our Jenny and looks like you guys had a lovely Valentine’s day 🙂

    Big hugs & love to all there xxxxxx

  44. Clare Ackerman

    Hi Jenny & Andy

    I’ve been reading your blog whenever it pops up on one of the girls facebook pages….. I had to write to you and just say how inspiring it is!! I’ve been thinking about memories from school actually and my strongest one of you has always been the dance show and Jenny dancing to Janet Jackson’s Rythym Nation (I’ve always thought of you if I hear that song!!) and Hanky Panky by Madonna haha!!

    I keep trying to put myself in your shoes, I think it hits me because we are the same age, but I honestly don’t think I would cope as well as you have!! The blog is amazing guys, it has made me put a few things in perspective if I’m honest and I really do wish you well.

    I’ve just looked at the lyrics for that song and some seemed appropriate (hope you think so)

    People of the world unite
    We are looking for a better way of life
    This is the test
    No struggle, no progress
    Lend a hand to help
    Your brother do his best
    People of the world unite
    Strength in numbers we can get it right one time
    We are a part of the rhythm nation!

    Keep going Jenny – you are doing fantastically well!!! :0) x x

  45. Ann

    What a great Valentines Day to remember, really great news, what we have all been waiting for. So pleased you have turned the corner Jen, well done, full of fighting spirit as usual, you’ll both be home before you know it. Each day now will another positive step forward on your journey. Good to hear you made it down stairs for dinner and managed to eat. Looking good in the photo with Hilary! You are both constantly in our thoughts. Enjoy your skipping, you’ll need it after all the cake Andrew! Best wishes to Hilary and Arthur.Stay strong and fighting, so proud of you both! All our love and kisses as always Mum, Dad & Millie xxx and extra big tuddles and cuddles for Mummy Bear from her Girls, Marge & Mabel xx

  46. Michelle and Stewart

    So good to hear the news that you are feeling much better Jenny, those ceramic angels are watching over you.
    I look forward to reading this blog everyday, it is so inspirational. You go girl!!!
    Thankyou Andy for letting us share your days at the clinic.
    Stewart and Michelle xx

  47. Rebecca

    Absolutely Diamond! In fact, you two are Double Diamond. It’s true, evidently, that Double Diamond really does work wonders!
    So fab to read this blog.
    Go get it, Double D!
    Lots of love. xxxxxxxxxx

  48. Emma Rusling

    Sorry I’ve been so bad with commenting….you both amaze me every day. I pray every night and KTFs every day… Michael knows all about KTFs…..he’s very good at it now..aunty jen and uncle andy….xx

  49. Niamh

    “it was Valentine’s day and also the day everything changed and Jenny took back control of this disease”……I’m guessing I’m not going to be the only one who read this line, smile,cried and punched the air in a real “you go girl” sorta way!

    So proud of you Jen :). Good luck with the skipping Andy!

    KTF all day everyday
    Niamh x

  50. Gemma

    Beautiful blog full of love n cake !!!! Glad to see you feeling better Didley you’re certainly looking it on the picture with Hilary. Lots of love to you both and everybody there gemsy n Henry Pud x x x x

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